Chain Dogfish: here’s the scoop


They are occasionally caught as bycatch in deep-water trawls or traps. Juveniles are caught more frequently than adults suggesting age segregation where adults prefer rough habitat that is difficult to trawl. They are also collected for the aquarium market. Their population, in the northern range, appears to be slightly increasing at an average annual increase of five percent per year for the last 30 years according to the NMFS Northeast Trawl Survey.

Insider Info

Our chain dogfish can be seen inside the Zoo’s touch tank inside Rainforests, Rivers & Reefs.  We carefully monitor and limit the amount of time that guests can interact with the touch tank species to maintain the highest level of animal welfare.


Chain Dogfish

Scientific name

Scyliorhinus retifer


Benthic (bottom dwelling) on the outer continental shelf and upper slope. Adults prefer rough rocky bottom habitats


Squid, bony fish, marine worms and crustaceans

life expectancy

8 – 10 years

Did you know?

Young hatch from laid egg cases after 7-12 months. An individual can typically lay 40 – 50 eggs each year.


Atlantic coast of the United States and the northern Gulf of Mexico to Nicaragua, Barbados, and an area between Jamaica and Honduras

Conservation status

Least Concern

Widespread and abundant